Saskatoon business group accuses Air Canada, WestJet of unfair ... - Global News

Trending 2 weeks ago

The Saskatoon Greater Chamber of Commerce has asked a nationalist watchdog to analyse if Air Canada and WestJet colluded to disagreement formation routes, stating softened contention betwixt the 2 airlines is unfair to Saskatchewan’s travelling nationalist and concern groups.

“Even if the behaviour falls abbreviated of being an “agreement” betwixt the airlines,” a property merchandise states, “it amounts to an maltreatment of dominance by Air Canada and WestJet wherever the airlines person engaged successful behaviour intended to harm competition, thereby improving their respective positions successful the market.”

The enclosure is asking the Competition Bureau Canada to analyse Air Canada’s cancellation of nonstop flights from Saskatoon and Regina to Calgary.

Due to required confidentiality, the bureau did not corroborate whether it volition beryllium investigating this matter.

“If the behaviour of these 2 airlines has fundamentally fixed each 1 an anti-competitive monopoly connected its routes, the national regulators should look into it,” said enclosure CEO Jason Aebig.

Story continues beneath advertisement

Air Canada claimed nary collaboration was progressive successful its determination to instrumentality flights disconnected of Saskatchewan’s market.

“Air Canada powerfully rejects immoderate allegations of anti-competitive conduct, and adjacent aft these way changes, remains a beardown rival crossed Canada including successful Saskatchewan,” work a connection provided by Air Canada.

WestJet besides denied the conspiracy allegations, saying it “does not prosecute with our contention astir web decisions oregon immoderate different aspects our business.”

Competitive instrumentality adept Jennifer Quaid explained that what mightiness look similar conspiracy efforts mightiness simply beryllium idiosyncratic strategy.

“Oftentimes, competitors don’t truly request to speech to each different oregon to pass astatine each successful bid to make strategies. And so, the thought of determination being expressed co-operation oregon collusion present mightiness successful information conscionable not beryllium true,”

Trending Now

She said that investigators volition request to find witnesses and documentation to conspiracy. The formation cancellation records volition not beryllium enough.

“It’s beauteous challenging to find impervious of intent. I mean, contrary to nationalist perception, smoking guns are seldom there.”

As Global News previously reported, Air Canada passengers volition person to alert to Vancouver from either metropolis to get to Calgary, with flights costing sometimes much than doubly arsenic overmuch arsenic a nonstop flight. And WestJet’s flights betwixt Saskatoon and Regina to Calgary were inactive much costly than Air Canada’s nonstop routes had been.

Story continues beneath advertisement

Several businesses and 1 starring researcher warned the cancellation could person a chilling effect connected the province’s system and quality pull starring researchers and businesses.

“Air Canada’s way cancelation means that Saskatoon-based businesses volition walk much clip and much wealth to link with the radical and markets they serve,” Aebig is quoted successful the merchandise arsenic saying.

“Compared to neighbouring provinces, Air Canada’s determination creates unnecessary barriers for Saskatoon’s existent businesses, probe institutes and residents, arsenic good arsenic those wishing to visit, survey oregon bash concern here.”

When Air Canada announced the cancellations successful December, it stated it is looking to rebuild successful a prudent and disciplined mode by deploying resources wherever they volition beryllium astir productive and that it volition absorption connected main hubs successful Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver.

The 11-page submission to the contention bureau cites a study from the Conference Board of Canada, a deliberation tank, which concluded the Saskatoon system would outpace the Canadian system successful 2023.

“Any “business case” for leaving Saskatoon appears to beryllium precise weak,” it said, adding that the cancellation volition pb to accrued prices, reduced prime and “poorer prime of work from an unchecked monopolist.”

Story continues beneath advertisement

“If Air Canada is unwilling to explicate its determination (to cancel the flights) to its customers and stakeholders, it tin explicate its determination to its regulators.”

This communicative is processing and volition beryllium updated.

— with files from Jeanelle Mandes and Brooke Kruger

&copy 2023 Global News, a part of Corus Entertainment Inc.